KOHLER, Wisconsin Australian Jason Day used a red-hot run around the turn and a solid finish to seize a two-shot lead over Jordan Spieth after a pulsating third round of low scoring at the PGA Championship on Saturday.
Among those who won’t have a chance for a weekend charge is Tiger Woods, who missed the cut at his third major in a row.
The two hottest golfers face off in the final group of the final major of the year at the PGA Championship, both wanting nothing more than to have their named etched on the Wanamaker Trophy.
A birdie on 17 saw him increase his lead again, before he landed his approach on the 18th for another chance for birdie only to miss the 18-foot putt to stay two shots clear.
Fellow Aussie Matt Jones is in a tie for sixth after the second-round leader faltered on the back nine, finishing with a one-over 73.
Matt Jones, of Australia, tips his hat on the ninth hole during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament Saturday, August 15, 2015, at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wis.
In the calm of yesterday morning under grey skies Johnson fashioned a gorgeous 66, including an eagle at the 16th, to lead by one from David Lingmerth.
Day is in the driver’s seat to win his first major championship, but the likes of Spieth, Rose and Kaymer won’t let him have it easily.
Day was diagnosed as suffering from Benign Positional Vertigo caused by an infection which had attacked and damaged nerves in his ear, and is now taking anti-viral medication, but declared himself fit to return at the Open and finished with 12 straight pars in the final round, leaving a birdie putt on the 18th to get into the play-off agonisingly short.
He got back on track with his own unlikely break – an eagle at the par-five second hole where he chipped in from the front of the green. I’m very pleased with how I’m putting. But now I’ve got to focus on round four.
Day was trading birdies and bogeys early in his round before going on a tear. “But I’m going to have fun with it, and I’m pretty relaxed on the golf course“, he told the PGA Tour website. Jordan Spieth, seeking to join Tiger Woods and Ben Hogan as the third player to win three majors in a single season, is two shots back at 13 under after a 7-under-par 65. There was some mistakes here and there, but overall I hit a lot of good quality iron shots, hit a lot of great drives out there, drove the ball really well.
“I’ve stood still a little on Thursday and Friday, but definitely improved today and you want to improve on that again tomorrow”.
“This isn’t as much in my head off the course as it was to try and get the Grand Slam, when I was getting ready to shoot for it the last couple of days at St Andrews. I did all I could do to finish the round off”.
Japan’s Hiroshi Iwata also took advantage of the early conditions and flirted with the first 62 at a Major before settling for a record-tying 63 in the second round.
Spieth, the Masters and U.S. Open champion, had to settle for second after closing with a 68, a finish that secures him the number one ranking for the first time at the expense of Rory McIlroy. The day’s biggest move was by Boo Weekley, who jumped 54 places on the leaderboard to tie for seventh at 6 under.